Workers’ compensation does not just pay income and medical benefits to injured workers. It can also provide disability payments to employees who cannot return to work. However, not all employees are eligible for these benefits, and the amount you receive depends on the extent of the injury.
Qualifications and Payment for Permanent Partial Disability
Workers’ compensation offers different types of workers’ compensation disability benefits depending on the disability. Total disability applies to people who cannot perform any work; partial disability applies to workers whose impairment affects their ability to return to full and sustainable employment. A claimant with permanent partial disability (PPD) may be required to work at a lower-paying job or a modified position due to a permanent impairment.
The amount you may receive for PPD can vary depending on the following circumstances:
- If you have a scheduled injury. There are two kinds of permanent partial injuries that qualify for disability: scheduled or non-scheduled. “Scheduled” injuries are injuries to body parts that are identified to cause severe disability such as loss of an eye, amputation of an arm or leg, or loss of a dominant hand. Injuries on the schedule are payable at the rate of two-thirds of the worker's average weekly wages for the number of weeks corresponding to the injury. If a scheduled impairment results in only some loss of use of the body part, benefits may be reduced according to the extent of the injury.
- If you have a non-scheduled injury. Many workplace injuries are not included on the scheduled list and must be calculated based on the extent of loss and the worker’s post-injury earnings. Non-scheduled injuries such as occupational diseases may continue for up to 312 weeks and are based on a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage. If your injury involves permanent bodily disfigurement, Rhode Island workers’ compensation allows benefits to continue for up to 500 weeks.
- If your age and education affect your employability. Under Rhode Island laws, a worker who is eligible for PPD for a partial disability may qualify for total disability benefits if the combination of the claimant’s injury, age, occupation, and education make him effectively unable to earn a pre-injury living.
If you are unable to work due to an injury on the job, our attorneys can gather evidence on your behalf and help get you the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum via our online contact form to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you.